A State Trooper shot and killed a family dog while attempting to serve a warrant at a York County home. The owner thinks the situation should have been handled much differently.
Jeff Bletz is dealing with the fact that he will never see his dog Ace again. “Last night it really hit home. He’s not there when you lay down or get up in the morning,” said Bletz.
Pennsylvania State Police and Lower Windsor Township Police were helping to serve a warrant with the U.S. Marshals service for Bletz’s daughter Thursday morning. Bletz said his daughter was not there because she is currently at a treatment facility. In the meantime, police encountered Ace, Bletz’s 8-year old Rottweiler/Labrador mix, in his Lower Windsor Township yard.
“One of our troopers was assigned the perimeter of this home. He was confronted by a large Rottweiler that was growling at him and came charging at him, at which point in time he drew his service weapon, because he was fearing for his safety,” said Pennsylvania State Police Public Information Officer, Rob Hicks.
“He was a pretty gentle dog,” said Bletz. “I guess he was just big and scary looking.”
William Manes, a neighbor, heard the commotion. “I heard a lady say don’t shoot the dog, don’t shoot the dog! So I got off the couch and looked out the window and all of a sudden I saw the police officer shoot the dog three times real quick,” said Manes. “It was heartbreaking because he was a good dog. I could see if it’s one of those dogs that attacks people all of the time.”
“I was in the garage, the dog was out peeing, and the next thing I know I heard three shots. Ace came over with the hole in him and lied down and died,” said Bletz. “They should have at least identified themselves or let me know they were here, and let me call the dog in.”
Bletz also wonders why the trooper shot towards his house when his grandson was playing video games inside. “It wasn’t only the dog, there was a child right in that window of the house where he was shooting,” said Bletz.
The incident is being investigated by State Police. “There is an internal investigation that will be conducted on this. Anytime a weapon is discharged, whether it is at a human or the dog, it’s still a use of force, therefore an internal investigation is conducted,” said Tpr. Hicks.
The trooper, whose name has not been released, is still on regular duty.